I woke up alone at 5:30 in my dewy ten on top of Killington to the hum of coolers under the cell towers. My tent fly may never get dry. I decided to hang out for a couple of hours and relax in my warm sleeping bag while eating a casual breakfast. I hoped that the sun would break from the clouds and dry my tent with the blustery breeze blowing across the peak. Those Mountain Dews were a real treat.
I was packing up when I heard AZ above me on the peak. He had stayed near the Governor Clement shelter down Killington Mountain and had come up for the view. I said hello and he acknowledged. I finished packing and headed down the steep stone blue blazed trail to the shelter. AZ was loading up, so I hiked with him for about ten miles to the Gifford Woods State Forest Park.
Tandem caught up with us but stopped at a road to wait for Jukebox who was being shuttled by Key Lime’s parents to the EMS Outfitter in Rutland. AZ and I found the picnic area where his mother and sisters were holding the hiker trail magic. I dropped my pack and went to find the closest geocache, which I dropped a travel bug in.
When I returned to the picnic area, AZ’s mother and sisters had arrived. I helped set up, and we started snacking on the healthy fruits and vegetables with dips and sauces. They started cooking burgers and hotdogs. I saw Mio and Key Lime, who had her dog Ozzy with her, walking by and called them over. A SOBO hiker came in, and Tandem showed up an hour later. Jukebox came in after a few other hikers had shown up. We all ate and had a great time. It was much healthier than the trail magic last night.
AZ had received extra Pasta Sides and Carnation Instant Breakfasts, which he gave to me. Once Jukebox was done eating, we put on our packs, said our thank yous, and headed down the trail .9 miles to the Mountain Meadows Lodge where a hiker may camp on the lawn, use the hot tub, relax on the porch, and charge devices for $10. I noticed that AZ was splitting a room with Lighting Bolt there. We set up our tents and hammocks while Jukebox went to get boxes from the post office. Tandem, Mio, and Key Lime hung out in the hot tub, and I walked about a mile to a pair of geocaches.
When I returned, I got in the hot tub and found that Jukebox was also there. He had brought back thirty PBRs for us. We enjoyed the relaxing hot water and then enjoyed the beers. They had to be consumed in containers that hid the beer from the wedding party guests at the lodge. I sat in the lobby for a couple of hours writing this, charging the phone, eating chocolates, and drinking two beers from my small cooking pot.
Later the guy from the front desk wanted to order pizza from iPIE Pizzeria & Lounge. He also placed orders for Tandem and me as well as Mio and Key Lime. It was a beautiful chilly evening, and we really enjoyed the excellent pizza in the dining room.